Pulisic scores but Milan, Newcastle both exit UCL

AC Milan and Newcastle United were eliminated from the Champions League on Wednesday after the Italian team's 2-1 win at St. James' Park that ensured Paris Saint-Germain and Kylian Mbappé qualified for the round of 16 instead.

Milan at least claimed the consolation prize of dropping into the Europa League playoff round after Samuel Chukwueze's 84th-minute winner lifted last season's Champions League semifinalists above Newcastle into third place in Group F.

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Milan joined PSG on eight points after the six group games but finished behind the French team courtesy of an inferior head-to-head record.

"It's a massive accomplishment," said Christian Pulisic, who equalized for Milan in the 59th minute to become the first U.S. international to score for three different teams in the Champions League, after Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea.

"We have a chance to win a great competition. Of course we wanted to continue in the Champions League but we look forward to competing in the Europa League."

Christian Pulisic's goal helped Milan beat Newcastle, but it wasn't enough to progress in the Champions League.

PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Pulisic's eight Champions League goals are twice as many as any other American. DaMarcus Beasley and Weston McKennie have scored four each.

Newcastle's first Champions League campaign in 20 years -- and their first under Saudi ownership -- ended in disappointment as they finished bottom of a tough group and out of Europe altogether.

It's a big blow to the northeast club with their new-found status as a potential disruptor for the established elite. Expect Newcastle, which has the richest owners in club soccer following its 2021 takeover by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, to be a force in European soccer for years to come, but it won't be this season.

"We are absolutely devastated not to go through," Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said.

"I couldn't be prouder of what they have given me, physically and mentally. I do think we left everything on the pitch and we can't have any regrets. Of course, we will learn from it and try to absorb everything we need to take into the Premier League."

With PSG drawing 1-1 at Borussia Dortmund, a win for Newcastle would have qualified the English team for the knockout stage.

And it looked on when Joelinton gave the hosts the lead with a rasping drive in the 33rd minute.

Pulisic equalised after Olivier Giroud's brilliant pass across the edge of the six-yard box and, after Rafael Leão struck a shot against the post, substitute Chukwueze grabbed the winning goal on the break with a curling finish.


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